Every chess player will be familiar with the question: ‘How long does it take to become a Grandmaster?’
Usually we give a vague answer. After all, why should we know? However, today, we have an answer you can happily quote. Here is the script:
Q: ‘How long does it take to become a Grandmaster?’
A: ’12 years, four months and 25 days.’
That is precisely how long it took Abhimanyu (“Abhi”) Mishra to break the record to become the world’s youngest chess Grandmaster!
Mishra, from Englishtown, New Jersey, earned his third and final Grandmaster norm yesterday at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix tournament in Budapest, Hungary. He defeated Grandmaster Leon Luke Mendonca in the key game.
Mishra broke through the 2500 Elo barrier in June, which takes care of the rating requirement aspect of the title hunt and now he has added his third norm it just leaves confirmation from FIDE to make everything official.
Up until yesterday, the record was held by Sergey Karjakin, who earned the title in 2002 and went on to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the 2016 World Chess Championship.
Mishra and Chessable
Chessable sponsored Mishra’s progress but his record-breaking exploits are, of course, down to his own hard work, determination, dedication and commitment. Just take a look at his Chessable profile to see how hard he has been working on our site.
The Records Since Bobby Fischer
Bobby Fischer famously held the record for many years, becoming a Grandmaster in 1958, at the age of 15 years, six months and one day and only losing the record in 1991 to Judit Polgar (15 years, four months and 28 days).
It is interesting to remind ourselves of the record-breakers between the two Americans.
1958: Bobby Fischer (United States) 15 years, six months, one day.
1991: Judit Polgar (Hungary) 15 years, four months, 28 days.
1994: Peter Leko (Hungary) 14 years, four months, 22 days.
1997: Etienne Bacrot (France) 14 years, two months.
1997: Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) 14 years, 17 days.
1999: Bu Xiangzhi (China) 13 years, 10 months, 13 days.
2002: Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine) 12 years, 7 months.
2021: Abhimanyu Mishra (United States) 12 years, four months, 25 days.
The 1990s were ablaze with young players breaking the world record, but it is strange to see the gap of almost 20 years from Karjakin to Mishra. For Mishra to break the record by more than two months is clearly an exceptional achievement in itself. Then again, Mishra is accustomed to breaking records. He was the youngest master in U.S. history at nine years and two months, and the youngest International Master ever at 10 years, nine months and three days – breaking the record previously held by GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa by 17 days.
The Quest for Greatness
Greatness has already been achieved; records have been broken and the name of Abhimanyu Mishra will remain in the record books, come what may. Yet the adventure is only just beginning. What does Mishra’s future hold? More headlines and titles, that’s for sure.
Follow Mishra’s own story via his Twitter account.